Sunday, March 23, 2014

trying to uplift her brother, one compliment at a time

No 5 to her slightly older brother on the way home from Mass:

Did YOU? WASH? YOUR? HAIR?!?!?!  [insert sound that kids make when the smell something disgusting here]  You smell like a warthog in the mud!

Saturday, March 22, 2014


For some odd reason, I couldn't get into my email account this morning.  I checked my emails yesterday and all was working correctly, but this morning: nothing.

Had to call my server and go through the motions of resetting my password.  Having to create a new password can be a fun, but daunting task.  I always choose something completely different.  For about a minute or two I gave serious consideration to


But then I figured that one had already been taken.  

Friday, March 21, 2014

coq au vin anyone?

I love this kind of stuff.

Conversation in the car was about a certain someone who was going to probably be angry when they got into trouble for running a red light... (as in blatantly ran the light well after it was red much to the shock and horror of the rest of his family, the only onlookers, who were sitting at the same intersection about to go straight because their light was green... but "that" isn't the kind of stuff I was referring to above.)  I digress.

The littlest sister says, "He's gonna be as mad as a chicken in water."

She has apparently inherited the I'm-drawing-a-picture-of-that-concept-in-my-brain gene, as this is how she pictured the phrase "madder than a wet hen."

Friday, March 14, 2014

oy vey

No 1 does a double take at a lady in traffic.  "Oh, shoot," she giggles, "I thought that lady was wearing a "yamekin."

Me:  "Did you just say yamekin?" I say through bubbles of laughter, "Is that when a Jew wears a ramekin as a yarmulke?"

No 1: "Wait, I forget... what's a ramekin?"

Friday, March 7, 2014

choose to be loving and kind choose to be loving and kind choose to be loving and kind

So there I was, an hour ago on an early Friday afternoon thinking how nice it is to be all caught up on the laundry.  In a moment of pity loving kindness, I went upstairs to just spiff the boys' room a little y'know, to surprise them when they get home from school (so I am not a complete and total nag that needs to be avoided at all costs). 

And here I am, an hour later.  Four loads of laundry to go before I am all caught up again.

in case you were out of the loop like me


-definition circa 1970: "small acts, the small 'non-physical aggressions' that are the product of and work to reinforce systems of inequality, such as racism, sexism, etc.  So while they are not necessarily different, microaggressions is an all-encompassing word to give a name to those acts/words/etc that attack and promote hate against a person's identity."  Chester Middlebrook Pierce

-definition circa 1973: above definition was expanded to include 'sex and gender'.  Mary Rowe

-definition circa 2007: “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color.” Derald Wing Sue


  • "Hey, Ping, can you help me with this math problem?"  In this example, the student who sucks at math can't ask a person of Asian descent for help, because it's microaggressive to assume that Asians are good at math.
  • "Hey Terrence, can you and Errol come by my apartment sometime soon and help me with some decorating ideas?" In this example, the girl with the butt ugly apartment should not ask her gay friends for decorating advice because it's microaggressive for her to assume that gay men are the most excellent decorators.  (Quick somebody go alert the folks at House Beautiful!) 
  • "Here, Miss Mabel, you can have my seat."  In this example, the middle-aged white male who offered his seat to an elderly black woman will need to be taken into the public square and killed by a firing line because even though he may know her (since he calls her by name), not only has he made the "hurtful assumption" that she needs the seat more than he does, but he completely microkills her with his microaggressive behavior regarding her identity as a woman and a minority.
  • "Hey, stop the presses, this application only has two choices to check for sex - either 'male' or 'female'!" In this example, God himself is guilty of microaggression.

If you need more information, here are a few articles, but in this article, which basically contradicts itself in that it's ok for people of color to receive advancements because of affirmative action, but it's not ok to have an opinion on whether or not it is fair, nor is it ok to discuss it with the person, because either one of those can be mistaken as microaggression/microinsult or the microlike.   
And then there's this handy dandy chart, which you can print out for your refrigerator so that you can be reminded that while it's not ok to acknowledge somebody's ethnicity or color, it's also not ok to ignore it either, because you deny them of their ethnicity or racial experiences.  

Let's discuss.  

Do you find it odd that only white folks and God can be guilty of this crime? 

Do you find it odd that no one can be accused of microaggression if they post pictures of poor, fat, redneck women on The People of Walmart website.  

Furthermore, no one, regardless of race, sex, gender, etc. who openly speaks/sings of killing cops can be accused of micro(let alone macro)aggression.  Are the men and women who protect and serve immune from being microassaulted?

Even in the writing of this post, I have committed micro-aggression (microinvalidations, microinsults and/or microassaults) numerous times, but I gotta ask, when, oh when did America lose a sense of humor?  How have we gone from the good work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to this inwardward-spiraling-self-introspection-to-the-most-infinite-places-of-our-own-navels?  

Imma be honest, it makes fat, white crackers like me a little paranoid.  Do my black friends all roll their eyes at me behind my back and did I leave permanent scars on their psyche the last time we were together?  
Can anybody find or even see the tightrope that we are supposed to be walking on so as to not offend?

Lighten up America!  If I remember correctly, it feels so great to laugh!!

 Lord help us all.  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

our identity.....and now is the time to witness

Ash Wednesday.

No 5 also turns seven today.

I have realized lately that my Catholic identity is as much a part of me as my eye color, my hairstyle, or the size of my backside.  (I know that sounds crass, but let me explain)  People don't have to be around me more than a minute or two before they know I am Catholic.  I talk about my faith always. I am proud of my Catholic identity.  I am fortunate enough to live in an area of our state that has a strong Catholic presence.

I have not always been this fortunate.  When I was a child, I grew up in another town, in another state, where ours was one of perhaps 15 or 20 practicing Catholic families.  Many times in high school I was asked why we worshiped statues or worshiped Mary.  I didn't understand the question.  Not only had I never worshiped anyone but the Trinity, there was such poor Catechism that I was not properly armed with the tools to defend my faith.

Though I have a lifetime of growing still to do, I have come so far.

Just yesterday I was able to defend the Catholic faith to two Jehovah's Witness believers who came to my doorstep.  They wanted to talk to me about John 3:16 and how God can change people's life, they wanted to ask me if I knew why Jesus had to die, and tell me how there were many misconceptions about their religion.

I took that Bible from that JW man and turned to John Ch 6.  I reminded him that in the Bible Jesus was very clear to say when something was a parable.  I pointed out that in John Ch 6, when Christ is referring to His Body and Blood as true food that it does not say "the parable of the Eucharist".  Over and over Jesus says that we Will Not have life within us if we do not eat His flesh and drink His blood.

Many times, many ways.  Red letters.
Not a parable.

This, the Eucharist, is the source and summit of our faith and I was able to tell those JW guys about it.  I took it a step further, I invited them to Mass.  I told them that I understood what they meant when they said people believed misconceptions about their religion.  (We don't worship statues people!)

They really really wanted me to take their Watchtower magazine.  I told them that I would take it and although I wasn't planning on reading it, I would keep it on my table as a reminder to pray for unity. They decided not to leave it.

I could feel the Holy Spirit behind me cheering me on the whole time.

After I told them how I admired them for going door to door helping to spread their faith (something we can all learn from), I shook their hands and said goodbye and came back inside.  My smile was all over my face, and although my weak knees were making a strange knocking sound, I thanked God aloud for the opportunity to be a "witness" to the Witnesses

This morning No 1 calls from college to wish her littlest sister a very happy birthday.  She and her roommate had already been to Mass (6:30 a.m. people!!!) and would be going to class soon.  Proud and amazed at my firstborn I asked if she was going to leave her ashes on all day.  She made a sound that made me think she was considering wiping them off.
"You are a witness to your faith!" I encouraged her, "Today is the perfect opportunity to teach someone about the Lenten season."
She said, "Y'know, growing up in Catholic school, where everybody knew it was Ash Wednesday, went to Mass, got their ashes, and knew what Lent is.... I dunno, it's weird being in the minority," she admitted.

"Yes, now is the time in which you go out into the world sharing your faith."

Praying tonight that all my children will retain their strong Catholic identity and not be afraid to be a light in the world.

Monday, February 10, 2014


Ahhhh. Pure oxygen has once again filled my deprived lungs. My Logical Girl is in the house. 

Giggles spill to the floor.

We are 

          singing Sweeney Todd songs 
and popping popcorn 

and planning our tomorrow. 

Everyone shares the same contented smile while the puzzle is complete.

Friday, January 10, 2014

gift of tears

Often in Mass I find that I can't hold back tears.  It has always been an embarrassment, until someone referred to it as The Gift of Tears.  Now I don't feel shameful if my eyes get moist realizing just how much Christ loves me. Us.

But then, this:  A friend asked me how our Christmas was.  I burst into tears.  What the what?
It was awesome, so I am wondering why I am standing in a puddle of tears.  I guess it didn't fully hit me how grateful I was that we enjoyed it so much until I was frantically scanning the room for a Kleenex box.

Odd gift.  Still grateful.

deep thoughts with no. 5

Pulled into the parking spot facing some dude's tricked out car with the front license plate "BAD."  No. 5 was hesitant to get out of the car and asked, "Is that a bad guy's car?"

*sigh* If they only came with warning labels.


No. 5 and I had an unexpected moment alone together.  She said, as if she had been holding it in for years, "I'm glad we're alone, because I want to tell you that I'm having a Bad Life."

I choked back giggles at the thought of such morbidity coming from a six year old.  We talked for awhile and I listened to her rationale.  Apparently she is getting frustrated that everything is taking SO long.  And she hates setbacks. I told her I completely understood, but that I would like her to think of it as a great life with some bad parts sprinkled in.  She agreed.

Basically what it boils down to is that she's ready to be grown, y'all.

Monday, January 6, 2014

bitter coldness

Ok, let me start by saying that if I had a dog, cat, or any pet, especially a goldfish in a glass bowl, I would bring him or her in during these bitterly cold days and nights.  But let's not lose sight of the fact that God designed animals to live outside.  Squirrels live.  Birds live.

Better idea:  Bring in the people.

Those furry animals are gonna be fine.  


Christmas was wonderful this year.  My mom brought my three nieces down to celebrate, and while I did have a bit of angst that I would melt down from the pressure of trying to make things perfect, God had my back.
For starters, He gave me a message at Mass out of the mouth of our pastor, "Jesus was born into an imperfect world to save us.  He comes again this Christmas to an imperfect world."  Oh he said it more eloquently than that and acknowledged that there are so many people running themselves ragged trying to make everything perfect that they miss the whole point.  (me.)  So, hearing that the day before company showed up was permission to scale back.
Besides my sanity, our bank account could not withstand all the plans and activities I had planned to make this perfect holiday for my special visitors.  We did splurge on beef tenderloin for Christmas Day dinner.  That was a tasty treat.  We justified it by saying that it was cheaper than taking everybody out.

So, in case you were wondering how Santa did on #5's list:
Bunny slippers:  the elves don't make bunny slippers in her size, but Santa did bring some really nice slippers that worked.  They are soft and squishy and they look like ballerina flats.  Way fancier than the stuff they wear to WalMart.
Big Hello Kitty doll:  Santa knew she already had a fairly large HK doll, so he got her a ginormous Hello Kitty coloring pad... and twistable color pencils.  Nice!  He must have known she loves to color.
Big Pack of Gum x 2: ayep!  Gone already.
Toy Shark and a whale and a baby whale (bc she wants to take them into the bath):  Santa brought a whole set of plastic sharks, each one different... Mako shark, great white, etc.  They must have eaten the whale family, because there were no whales.
High Heels with "see through":  The big red-nosed elf must have thought himself very clever to have gotten just what she asked for, especially given the size of her feet (I'm not calling her Anastasia or Drusilla, just that Cinderella has some long pedes).  However, it seems as though when he got here to set out each child's gifts, he discovered that the pair of "Hiheals with see throo" those lame brain elves packed was really just two right footed shoes.  What the heck?!?!  Maybe this means that she will be a good dancer one day?  Nobody can say she has two left feet.
Thankfully, he left her a note that said he would see to it that his elves corrected the problem and would ship her the correct pair.  Which she has now received, whew!

No 4, who earlier this year told King and I that he no longer believed, decided that he does actually believe, because he knows his parents wouldn't get him Sesame Street bubble bath. Bam!

Ok, peace out, I've gotta go draw a bath for a certain 8 year old.